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The Challenge of Communication. Ch. 9 . The Nature of Communication. Verbal Communication Nonverbal Communication Kinds of Nonverbal Communication Functions of Nonverbal Behavior Interpreting Nonverbal Behavior. Intended and Unintended Communication of Feelings.

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the nature of communication
The Nature of Communication

Verbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication

Kinds of Nonverbal Communication

Functions of Nonverbal Behavior

Interpreting Nonverbal Behavior

intended and unintended communication of feelings
Intended and Unintended Communication of Feelings

Source: Data from L. Gaelick, G.V. Bodenhausen, and R.S. Wyer, Jr., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49:1248, 1985.

styles of poor listening
Styles of Poor Listening

The Faker — Only pretends to be listening

The Dependent Listener — Only wants to please the speaker

The Interrupter — Never allows the other to finish

The Self-conscious Listener — Concerned primarily with own status in the eyes of the other rather than with the ideas and feelings of the other

The Intellectual Listener — Attends only to the words of the other

improving listening skills
Improving Listening Skills

Take the initiative in communication

Resist distractions

Control your emotions and tendency to respond before your partner is finished

Ask questions and rephrase to clarify your partner’s meaning

Make use of the speed of your thoughts by summarizing


characteristics of cohesive families
Characteristics of Cohesive Families
  • Family Cohesion: togetherness, the emotional bonding that couples and family members have toward one another
  • A family can have too much cohesion (an enmeshed family) or too little (a disengaged or disconnected family).
  • Experts advise a balanced level of cohesion—one that combines a reasonable and mutually satisfying degree of emotional bonding with individual family members’ need for autonomy.
six qualities of family cohesion
Six Qualities of Family Cohesion
  • Communicate appreciation for one another.
  • Arrange personal schedules so they can do things together.
  • Have a high degree of commitment to promoting one another's happiness and welfare.
  • Have some spiritual orientation.
  • Are able to deal with crises.
  • Have positive communication patterns.
children family cohesion and unresolved conflict
Children, Family Cohesion, and Unresolved Conflict
  • Regardless of family structure, a family characterized by warmth, cohesion, and generally supportive communication is better for children.
  • A home characterized by significant, unresolved, and ongoing conflict negatively impacts children.
communication and couple satisfaction
Communication and Couple Satisfaction
  • Couples demonstrate different relationship ideologies—expectations for closeness and/or distance as well as ideas about how partners should play their roles.
  • Couples also differ in their attitudes toward conflict.
  • What matters is whether the partners’ actual interaction matches their ideology.
conflict in relationships
Conflict in Relationships
  • Passive-Aggression: Expressing anger indirectly
  • Sabotage: Getting revenge or “payback”
  • Displacement: A person directs anger at people or things that the other cherishes
positive results of good listening
Positive Results of Good Listening
  • Listening shows love, concern, and respect.
  • Avoiding interruptions prevents sending messages like, “You’re not worth listening to.”
  • You discover how things look from your partner’s point of view.
  • Your partner takes over as the final authority on his or her own feelings.
  • You set an example for your partner to follow in listening to your feelings.
as we make choices ten rules for successful relationships
As We Make Choices: Ten Rules for Successful Relationships
  • Express love verbally.
  • Be physically affectionate.
  • Express appreciation and admiration.
  • Share more about yourself with your partner than with any other person.
  • Offer each other emotional support.
  • Express your love materially.
  • Accept partner’s demands and put up with partner’s shortcomings.
  • Make time to be alone together.
  • Do not take the relationship for granted.
  • Do unto each other as you would have the other do unto you.
as we make choices ten rules for successful relationships1
As We Make Choices: Ten Rules for Successful Relationships
  • Often, we read a list like the previous one and think about whether our partner or other family members are doing them, not whether we ourselves are.
  • How many of the items on the list do you yourself do?
  • Which two or three items might you begin to incorporate into a relationship?
conflict and love
Conflict and Love
  • All couples experience conflict.
  • How conflicts are addressed and resolved depends on how secure mates feel in their relationship.
four horsemen of the apocalypse
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Research identified predictors of divorce:

  • Contempt
  • Criticism
  • Defensiveness
  • Stonewalling
  • Belligerence
tactics used in stonewalling
Tactics Used in Stonewalling
  • Leaving the house or the scene when the fight threatens.
  • Turning sullen and refusing to argue or talk.
  • Derailing arguments, e.g. “I can’t take it when you yell at me.”
  • Stating “I can’t take you seriously when you act this way.”
  • Using the hit and run tactic of filing a complaint and leaving no time for a resolution.
  • Saying “okay, you win” without meaning it.
working through conflicts in positive ways ten guidelines
Working Through Conflicts in Positive Ways—Ten Guidelines
  • Express anger directly and with kindness.
  • Check out your interpretation of other’s behaviors.
  • To avoid attacks, use “I” statements.
  • Avoid mixed or double messages.
  • When you can, choose the time and place carefully.
  • Address a specific issue, ask for a specific change, and be open to compromise.
  • Be willing to change yourself.
  • Don’t try to win an argument.
  • Be willing to forgive.
  • End the argument.
changing fighting habits
Changing Fighting Habits
  • The key to staying happily together is not avoiding conflict but dealing with it openly and in supportive ways.
  • Doing so involves listening.
  • The goal isn’t necessarily agreement, but acknowledgment, insight, and understanding.
toward better couple and family communication
Toward Better Couple and Family Communication
  • Keeping a loving relationship or creating a cohesive family is not automatic.
  • Doing so requires working on ourselves as well as on our relationships.
  • First step: consciously recognizing how important the relationship is.
  • Second step: setting realistic expectations about the relationship.
toward better couple and family communication1
Toward Better Couple and Family Communication

Improving our own:

  • emotional intelligence – awareness of what we’re feeling so that we can express our feelings more authentically
  • ability and willingness to repair our moods
  • healthy balance between controlling rash impulses and being candid and spontaneous
  • sensitivity to the feelings and needs of others